Defence deal with Israel back on table

Defence deal with Israel back on table

The bilateral relations were being considered as at an all-time high before India voted in favor of the United Nations resolution condemning the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon has termed it a historic visit, which will strengthen the growing partnership between the two countries. "We can not always fulfil those requests", he said. "And they will continue to be. sometimes it is India that comes to Israel with a request and sometimes it is Israel that comes to India with the request.We can not always fulfil those requests", Carmon said.

The stage is set to welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be the first Prime Minister from his country in last the 15 years, to visit India, from Sunday.

Mr Netanyahu will be accompanied by a business delegation.

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India is considering purchase of Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) from Israel through the government-to-government (G-to-G) route, months after it made a decision to cancel a deal to procure the weapons from an Israeli firm. But in the past 25 years since India established diplomatic relations with Israel, New Delhi has developed a multifaceted relationship with the Jewish state spanning defence, agriculture, irrigation and counter terrorism.

India's 2014 deal to purchase the anti-tank missiles from Rafael was overturned last November. He said both PMs have struck a personal bond as well, which was displayed during Modi's visit to Israel past year.

On the impact of India's recent decision to cancel a half a billion dollars defence deal related to development of spike antitank guided missiles, Netanyahu said: "I think you are going to see an expansion of economic and other ties regardless of this or that deal".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu will hold talks on Monday covering entire expanse of the ties and explore new areas of cooperation to further deepen the "very very special relationship", the external affairs ministry had said on January 11, 2018.

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On the strong bond between the two leaders which was driving the current Indo-Israeli ties, Carmon had said that the relationship between India and Israel is an "all-weather friendship".

Kabir Taneja, an associate fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a New Delhi-based think tank, pointed out that Mr Netanyahu's five-day trip was "a long time for any state visit".

But Modi has said he wants to end India's status as the world's number one defense importer and to have 70 per cent of hardware manufactured domestically by the turn of the decade.

Again in 1971, Israel helped India during the India-Pakistan war.

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